The argument for sidelining rogue networks and paying brokers direct has already won support from one top six lender.
Paymentshield now admits there are rare incidents in which it pays brokers directly, despite previously hitting out at the practice.
A spokesman for Paymentshield says: “In a few cases where networks cannot disburse commission payments to ARs we do it for them, but there has to be a letter of transferral from the principal of the network in question.”
In the case of ARs transferring to a different network a letter would be required from the managing director of the new network. ARs choosing to stay put need a letter from their network confirming the request to pay direct.
But Alex Cotton, chief executive of Network Data, says providers and lenders that sidestep network agreements will run into problems.
She says: “As a provider you want to pay commissions to one source. It becomes complicated when direct payments are made because then there can be questions relating to the ownership of advice, complaint management and compliance.
“That’s the whole point of networks – to protect organisations in these circumstances.”
Rick Large, broker with Liverpool-based Chestnut Mortgages and a Network Data AR, says his commission will be six months late by the time it is paid.
He says: “I have been told that I’m going to be paid on March 13 for a remortgage case that completed last September. Something isn’t right.”
The sale of Network Data’s head-quarters Botleys Mansion is on-going but Mortgage Strategy has learned it has only been listed with agent Knight Frank since the middle of January, two months after chef Gordon Ramsay was linked with the sale.
Knight Frank says the property is still available but is under offer.